Sylvie Vartan is an Armenian-Bulgarian-French actress and singer. In 2004, after a long hiatus from performing, she began to record and perform jazz ballad concerts in French-speaking countries.
Sylvie Vartan’s full name is Sylvie Georges Vartanian Spotify – Artist’s Profile and she was born on Tuesday, August 15, 1944 (age 78 years; as of 2022) in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her zodiac sign is Leo. During the Ottoman occupation of Bulgaria, a friend of her father, director Dako Dakovski, offered her a role as a schoolgirl in the film Pod Igoto, which features Bulgarian rebels fighting the Ottoman occupiers. She realized her dream of becoming an artist thanks to her participation in the film. After the war, the family emigrated to Paris in December 1952 due to the difficulties of post-war Bulgaria. The first time they stayed together was at the Hôtel du Lion d’Argent, near Les Halles, where her father found a job, then they lived in a single room at the Hôtel d’Angleterre for four years. She had to work hard to fit in with her classmates and keep up with her school work. The two years she spent learning French were difficult. After moving to Avenue Michel Bizot in 1960, his family rented an apartment there. The influence of her music producer brother Eddie led Sylvie to pursue music as her primary passion as a teenager. Although she attended a strict high school and learned rock ‘n’ roll, Sylvie was particularly drawn to jazz. Her inspirations were Brenda Lee, Bill Haley, and Elvis Presley.
Height (approx): 5 ft 5 in / 164 cm
Weight: 123 lbs / 56 kg
Bust/Chest: 33 in / 86 cm
Waist: 25 in / 65 cm
Hips: 35 in / 89 cm
Bra size: 38B (US) / 85B (EU)
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Blonde
Family and Ethnicity
Parents & Siblings
Her father, Georges Vartanian (1912-1970) worked in a French Embassy in Sofia and dealt with diplomatic affairs. It was a family tradition to abbreviate Vartanian’s name to Vartan.
Her mother was Ilona (née Mayer 1914-2007), daughter of the prominent architect Rudolf Mayer of Hungarian Jewish descent.
She has a brother named Eddie who is a music producer who was born on 10 August 1937 and died on 19 June 2001 (aged 63) in Paris, France, from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Relationships/ Affairs, Spouse, Children
When Vartan performed for the second time at the Olympia in Paris in 1962, she met rock musician Johnny Hallyday. The couple married in Offenburg on April 12, 1965. Sylvie Vartan and Johnny Hallyday were the “golden couple” of their generation but the couple eventually divorced on November 4, 1980.
A son was born to them, David Michael Benjamin Smet, later known as David Hallyday, French singer, songwriter, and amateur sports car racer (b. 14 August 1966 (age 55 years; as of 2022))
A few years later, Vartan married record producer Tony Scotti and they adopted a Bulgarian girl named Darina (Entrepreneur.)
She is the aunt of Eddie Vartan’s son, Michael Vartan (born November 27, 1968) who is a French-American actor.
In the spring of 1961, Eddie offered Sylvie the opportunity to record the song “Panne d’essence” with French rocker Frankie Jordan. In the end, the Decca Records EP was to bring Sylvie a lot of success. Vartan made her first appearance on French television in “Panne d’essence” despite not being credited on the cover. Barely graduated from Lycée Victor Hugo, she signed a contract with Decca Records to start recording her EP. It bears the title track “Quand le film est triste”, a cover of Sue Thompson’s “Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)”, the EP went on sale the first week of December 1961.
Her next hit was “All my friends”, which appeared on her 1961 EP. Additionally, she played a small part as a singer in the film Un clair de lune à Maubeuge, in which she made her acting debut. She became one of the top 20 European hitmakers six times with her 31 songs released in 1962/1963.
Johnny Hallyday and Vartan toured France together in the winter of 1963, and the two appeared in the film Where Are You From, Johnny?
During Hallyday’s military service in December 1964, his brother Eddie hired two English songwriting session musicians, Tommy Brown on drums and Mick Jones on guitar, to accompany them on their recording session in New York. Set in the smart design of the J.C. Averty Show, “Cette lettre-là” was the first of Sylvie Vartan’s TV variety night performances. In 1966–69 she recorded more original hits.
Sylvie Vartan continued to perform and record intensively despite a second serious car accident in 1970; in 1972, she starred in the film Malpertuis. RCA sold millions of records under her name, making her the label’s most prolific artist after Elvis Presley.
In 1976, she recorded “Qu’est-ce qui fait pleurer les blondes?”, a disco-style cover of a John Kongos song that topped the French charts for several weeks. After a week of concerts in Las Vegas in 1982, she released a duet with John Denver: “Love Again,” a #85 single on Billboard Hot 100 followed in 1985 by a new album in the US with “Double Exposure” and “One-Shot Lover.” In 1986, she took a break from the entertainment industry and returned in 1989 with “C’est Fatal” (“E’ Fatale” in Italy).
When her brother Eddie died in 2001, she took another break from performing in public. She began to record and perform jazz ballads in French-speaking countries and Japan in the fall of 2005.
- Knight of the National Order of Merit on November 13, 1987, Officer in 2006.
- Knight of the Legion of Honor on November 14, 1998, Officer in 2009.
Facts / Anecdotes
- She loves dogs and has two dogs, Phoenix and Cooper.
- As part of the program of goodwill ambassadors of the WHO for maternal and child health in the European region, the singer was appointed in 2005.
- She was nicknamed the twisting schoolgirl or la collégienne du twist by the journalists. APL Musique
- On January 16, 1964, Sylvie performed with The Beatles and opened their show at Olympia
- Advertising for the “Renown” fashion line and supporting role in the movie Patate contributed to her fame. Additionally, she has appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, Shindig!, and Hullabaloo and has toured internationally including Canada, South America, and Polynesia. While in Tokyo, she performed 13 shows over a 12-day period.
- Her appearances were popular in Italy and France; she donned a different costume for each song, including plenty of short skirts and Barbarella boots. The cartoonists of both countries even drew Sylvie Vartan’s lookalikes.
- In 1990, Sylvie gave a concert at the Palace of Culture in Sofia which featured Bulgarian songs as opening and closing numbers. After emigration, the concert was Sylvie’s first visit to Sofia.
- She wrote with Eric & Christian Cazalot a book called “Le Tourbillon d’une vie.”
- She has been on the covers of many magazines like Gala France.
- Benoît Cachin, a French journalist, wrote a book about her called “La plus belle pour taller chanter.”
- Her first picture on Instagram was on 28 December 2016 when she posted a picture of her decorated door with the caption “Bonnes Fêtes à Tous” or “Happy Holidays everyone.”